Vietnamese can’t use Linux? Yeah Right!


Today I had a nice conversation with a Vietnamese friend about different computer operating systems.  She was thinking about purchasing an Apple Powerbook but was worried that she would not be able to use it.  She stated it would be too tough.

After some discussion, I convinced her that she COULD use an Apple computer.  Even better, I even told her that she could easily switch to Linux.  This is how I did it:

Ever notice how many mobile phones and PDAs Vietnamese will buy each year?  Some will change mobile phones every 2-3 months if they see a more popular model that they like.  Vietnamese will even borrow each other’s mobile phones to see if they will like the features or not.  Give your mobile phone to a Vietnamese friend, colleague, or student, and I will bet that it will take less than 5 minutes for them to figure out the functions of all the phone.  Yeah, they can even set up MMS, WAP, and Bluetooth if they wanted to use these features.

Have you ever heard a Vietnamese complaining about the graphic user interface of the phone?  Not often.  It is amazing how fast they can navigate around your mobile phone or PDA  using just the phone keys or a stylix.  It does not matter if your phone is a Nokia, Motorola, O2, Samsung, Sony Ericson, etc., they will know how to use the mobile phone.

What is even funnier is that you never hear them complaining about the operating system of the phone.  Never.  O2s run Windows Mobile, many of the Motorolas run Linux (Montevista Linux to be exact); Nokias, Sony-Ericsons, and Samsungs, etc., run Symbian.  Newer Nokias are ex pectedto run Linux.  The iPhone runs OSX.  Regardless of the operating system, your Vietnamese friends will be able to use your phone.

I explained to my friend that mobile phones are just small computers, especially the PDAs and Smartphones.  Nobody had explained the differences in operating systems before to her like I did using mobile phones as an example.  With the popularity of the Motorola Linux phones in Vietnam now, when someone tells me they can’t use Linux, I tell them that they can.

Just tell them that a computer is just a bigger mobile phone and I am sure they will understand.  I am not joking here (^_^)

Vietnamese can use Linux, you just have to tell them the right way.


  1. My last (K)Ubuntu install I couldn’t get the Vietnamese keyboard driver to work and couldn’t compile UniKey to work in OpenOffice or Opera. Any advice? I had to go back to Windows to get proper Vietnamese support.

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